Southwestern Avocado Pesto Pizza w/ a Black Bean Crust

Monday, on my 6am flight, I had an idea for a pizza recipe.

….because that’s what normal people do on a 6am flight….

I finally had the opportunity to try it out this weekend, and was thrilled that it worked! In my opinion, if you can make a healthy, low-carb, high protein pizza crust, why not go for it? Any way to make pizza healthier and I’m in!

But first…. my wonderful Father In-Law came to town on business this week. He stayed an extra day just so we could have a Father/Daughter date night!

We went to a wonderful little restaurant, frequented by locals. It is a tiny, authentic Cuban restaurant, called Cuba Cuba, tucked quietly in a residential neighborhood. It masquerades as a little blue house with yellow trim. But, the moment you set foot inside, that perception changes. The place is alive with color and the sounds of laughter. Everyone is happy and relaxed, and the food….. How do I even begin to describe the food? Subtle and complex, each dish is as close to Cuba as you are going to get outside of Havana. And get this, they have a Gluten-Free Menu!!!!!!!

We started with drinks. He got a Mojito, and I went with the nightly special, a Paloma.

….Which I may have ordered because it was pink….

While we were deciding on our entrees, the owner, a firey Cuban woman who moved here from Miami, came over to chat with us. She and my Father In-Law (who is also Cuban) hit it off immediately, discussing the different dishes on the menu, etc… She recommended he try a thin, lightly breaded steak (I’m blanking on the name). He did, and raved over it’s authentic flavor. I, however, went with a light, spicy Seafood Stew served with rice. Scrumptious does not even begin to describe it! It was the nightly special, and I can only pray that they add it to the regular rotation.

Cuba Cuba is now our date night place whenever my Father In-Law is in town. AND if you are ever visiting Denver and in the mood for great food away from the tourist hustle and bustle, you MUST try Cuba Cuba.

Now, on to my recipe!

Southwestern Avocado Pesto Pizza w/ a Black Bean Crust

(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)


  • 1 recipe Southwestern Avocado Pesto (see below)
  • 1 recipe Black Bean Pizza Crust (see below)
  • 1 large Organic Tomato, sliced
  • Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • Salsa & Dairy-Free Sour Cream, for serving


  1. Spread Pesto over the par-baked pizza crust.
  2. Top with slices of tomato and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
  3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. (425 degrees F if at a high altitude)
  4. Serve with salsa and dairy-free sour cream, if desired.

Southwestern Avocado Pesto


  • 1/2 Avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp Chives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Herbamare
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Hot Water (may use more or less)
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Combine Avocado, Cilantro, Nutritional Yeast, Garlic, Salt and Pepper, Olive Oil, and 1/4 cup of the Hot Water in a food processor.
  2. Process until smooth, adding more water if needed.

Black Bean Pizza Crust


  • 1 can Black Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Water, as needed (if cooking at a low altitude, you may only need 2 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 3/4 tsp Oregano


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (425 if at a high altitude)
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  3. Mixture will be wetter than traditional pizza dough.
  4. Spray a round baking tray with non-stick cooking spray and lightly dust with brown rice flour.
  5. Using moist fingers, spread dough into a thin even circle covering the tray. Have a bowl of water nearby to re-moisten fingers frequently.
  6. Bake dough in the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
  7. After baking, remove from the oven and proceed with the above recipe.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.


11 thoughts on “Southwestern Avocado Pesto Pizza w/ a Black Bean Crust

  1. I look forward to trying this unique recipe! I am new to nutritional yeast…are there a couple brands you would recommend? Also, I finally bought the donut pan you recommended 🙂 Love your posts!

    • The only brand that I use is RedStar. It is certified GF. I read that you have to be careful with yeast products, because they can be cross contaminated. You got the donut pan?! You are going to have so much fun!

  2. When you say a “round baking tray” for the crust, do you just mean a basic 9 inch cake pan? I can’t wait to try this so that I can have the same flavors that are in my favorite pizza at California Pizza Kitchen–the Southwestern Pizza 🙂

  3. Was the crust “crusty” after cooking? Meaning was it crisp and hardened like normal pizza crust? I recently made Cauliflower Crust and it was close but softer in consistency than normal crust.

    • Hello! Yes, the crust was “crusty”. I was able to slice it, and eat it just like a normal pizza. It retained it’s “crusti-ness” the next day, and I enjoyed leftovers cold for lunch!

  4. Pingback: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; 5/1/12 | Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free

  5. thank you so much for this post!!! i am gluten-free, dairy-free, everything-free 🙂 and also very sensitive to any carbohydrate that doesn’t have a significant protein content … thus the idea of making a pizza crust with beans means i could actually eat it (in small amounts)… thank you!

Let's Discuss!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s